A closed court in the northern province of Ha Giang Thursday handed a nine-year sentence to the former principal of a high school for statutory rape in a high profile sex scandal.
Sam Duc Xuong. 54, had sex with students, six of them underaged, between July 2008 and August 2009, the court was told in a hearing which took place under tight security provided by around 50 officers and police dogs.
The ex-principal of the Viet Lam High School was accused of forcing the students into prostitution using his money and authority.
The Ha Giang People's Court also handed down suspended sentences of 36 months and 30 months respectively to two of Xuong's students, Nguyen Thuy Hang and Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy.
The girls, both 20, pleaded guilty to procuring schoolgirls for Xuong. They also had sex with Xuong.
Another four people were also charged with procuring, but not criminally indicted because they were underage, the court said.
The provincial police launched an investigation into the case after some parents reported that Xuong had forced their daughters to have sex with him in September, 2009
A trial that opened two months later sentenced Xuong to ten and half years in prison. Hang and Thuy received jail terms of six and five years respectively.
As the three defendants pleaded not guilty, an appeals court was convened in February last year when the two girls presented a list of 16 government officials that they had sex with.
This prompted the court to order a fresh investigation.
After studying the results of the new investigation, Ha Giang's prosecutors decided not to charge any of the officials listed by the schoolgirls, including Nguyen Truong To, former chairman of the provincial People's Committee.
However, To was dismissed and expelled from the Party in July last year after police discovered his nude photos saved in the phone of a sex worker in 2005.